My Research System

Sort of in response to a recent comment, I would like to share with you my method of studying the scriptures.

My Tools:
My methods are different depending on what I am researching, and why I want to know. I don't use all of these resources every time I study, it all depends on what I am looking for.

Let's say I want to know more about the word translated charity in most English New Testaments. First, I would look up the word charity on Folio or my LDS bible, depending on how high-tech I wanted to get (software vs a book). This would give me every instance of the word charity in the new testament.

Next, if I was using Folio, I would click on one of the words and have it look up the strong's # for me. This would show me the greek word that was translated to charity. Next, I would compare the search results for charity with the list of instances of that greek word being translated charity and see if there are any places where that word is not translated charity, or charity was not translated from that word. Then I would do the same for any word that comes up an an anomaly. In a word processor (rather than the built-in note taker, which works, but I like a real word processor better) I would take notes on what I find. I would also make sure to write down the root of the word that is being used, as well as related words and so on.

To obtain the same results, I could also use my KJV bible's concordance to find instances of the word charity, then look them up on the KJV with Strong's Concordance website. I don't own a physical Strong's concordance, or I could also use that. The process is about the same otherwise.

If I really wanted to go low-tech, I could also use my interlinear greek / english new testament and compare the greek words. I do not speak greek, so I would only come out with a list of greek words minus their meanings.

Let's say that I wanted to study the Jewish idea of heaven. First, using either my concordance or Folio, I would look up where the word heaven is used, or I could just use my memory to start with. Then, I could look in my Jewish study bible and read its commentary for each instance (as well as the text itself, of course). Next, using Folio, I would search for the word heaven in my Legends of the Jews by Ginzberg. That would bring me to various stories and extrapolations about the jewish idea of heaven. I could do the same for the Talmud, Midrash and other jewish commentaries.

What if I wanted to know the origin of Baptism? First, I would look in the Catholic Encyclopedia, or Wikipedia and see what they had to say. I would look at the sources where possible. I would read references to baptism in the scriptures. I would study the origin of the word baptism, and see which other cultures have ritual cleansing, and read about those as well. If I wanted to do extensive research on a topic, I would use TomBoy Notes, which is like a personal wiki, to keep track of all my different pieces of data.

When I study, I cannot use just one book or piece of software. No single tool exists that can do everything that I want to do. And, even if there was one, I wouldn't want to rely on ONE source for all of my knowledge, it would be too easy for me to be lazy and not look outside that box for more information.

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